At the Greenville Family Attorneys, our child support attorneys understand raising children isn’t a simple task, especially with the finances necessary to support their best interests and to ensure their livelihoods.
During and after divorce proceedings, your children’s healthcare, education, extracurricular activities, and overall financial security depend on you. So, our experienced Greenville family law lawyers fight aggressively to make sure our clients receive the best child support outcome that’s suitable for their diverse family needs.
Our experienced Greenville family law attorneys are committed to delivering financial solutions for our clients, so whether you’re paying child support or the one receiving child support, we’ll work hard to ensure a fair outcome. For a free initial consultation, call our family law firm today at (864) 475-9393, or chat with us online to learn how we can help.
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What are the Child Support Laws in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, either parent can request child support. However, it’s the responsibility of both parents to contribute to child support. A family law court can order one or both parents to make child support payments. Also, if either or both of the parents are unmarried and under 18 years of age, the Child Support Enforcement Division of the South Carolina Department of Social Services can pursue child support for that child from one or both of the child’s paternal or maternal grandparents.
In South Carolina, child support may be increased or decreased if there’s a significant change of circumstances. These may involve making substantially less income, losing your job, the child is now emancipated, the child now lives with you, or you have a medical condition, injury, or disability. So, if you have a significant change, act quickly. Child Support can only be modified once you file the legal action forward.
If you don’t pay child support, you could be held in contempt of court. If you’re required to make child support payments via the Clerk of Court’s office, the clerk will automatically issue a Rule to Show Cause because of failure to pay child support. Then, you’ll receive a notice of the date and time for the hearing. During that hearing, you must explain to the judge why you haven’t made your payments as ordered. If the judge finds you in contempt, you could be subject to up to one year in jail, or a maximum fine of $1500 fine.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Child Support Order in Greenville, SC?
Before a conference or court hearing can be scheduled, the non-custodial parent’s address must be verified. If the non-custodial parent has recently moved, if the custodial parent can’t provide a current address, or if the non-custodial parent lives out-of-state, it could take several months to locate him/her. The more information you provide in the application, such as non-custodial parent social security number and date of birth, the easier it’ll be to locate the non-custodial parent.
The new state-wide automated computer system can help with locating an absent parent. The system searches automatically for addresses and employers of individuals.
Once the non-custodial parent is located and served with the notice, it takes less than three months to obtain a child support order. It might take longer if the non-custodial parent lives in another state.
How Long is the Non-Custodial Parent Ordered to Pay Child Support?
After the payment of child support is ordered, the child support order is effective until he or she petitions the court for a dismissal order and a family court judge dismisses the order. Once the child turns 18, the non-custodial parent can petition the court for a dismissal order. Also, child support orders could be terminated earlier than the 18/graduation from high school if the child is emancipated.
This means the child is now self-supporting and has moved out of the custodial parent’s house. The child is now paying for his or her healthcare and no longer needs a parent’s permission to sign legally binding contracts. Emancipation includes getting a full-time job, marrying, or joining the military. However, if the child is still in school or if there are reasons for a judge to order the continuation of child support, the judge may do so.
What Happens When There is a Child Support Order and the Non-Custodial Parent Pays Irregularly?
The non-custodial parent must pay the total amount of the support order. If he or she doesn’t pay the total amount, the South Carolina Child Support Services Division (CSSD) may try to collect the child support through the following methods:
- Filing contempt of court proceedings, which could result in a jail sentence if the non-custodial parent is found in contempt of court.
- Withhold child support payments from the non-custodial parent’s unemployment benefits or wages.
- Referring the non-custodial parent to credit reporting agencies.
- Intercepting state and/or income tax refunds.
- Garnishing worker’s compensation benefits.
- Revoking the professional, occupational, or driver’s license of the non-custodial parent.
What Kind of Rights Does a Father have in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, 50% of children are born to unmarried parents. Once a child is born to unmarried parents in South Carolina, the biological father has no connection or legal rights to the child until he determines legal paternity.
However, when a child is born to married parents, the male spouse of the mother is automatically assumed as having legal paternity no matter if he is the biological father. If the couple is unmarried or the biological father is someone else other than the mother’s spouse, the biological father must complete the defined legal process to determine legal paternity.
Legal visitation rights can’t be awarded without first establishing legal paternity. Often a biological father forms a personal bond with his child, even without legal paternity or legal visitation rights. However, that relationship solely depends on the discretion of the mother. If the mother stops the father’s visits, the biological father who hasn’t established both legal visitation and legal paternity rights have no legal option.
What is the Average Child Support Payments in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, calculating child support payments isn’t as simple as you may think. The court calculates your monthly payments based on the Child Support guidelines in South Carolina. However, your child support payments will vary based on your child custody arrangements.
Typically, child support payments must cover the expenses of the child’s education, childcare, medical care, among other necessary costs. Also, your income and the number of children you have will influence your child support monthly payment.
A report by the US Census shows that the median household income in South Carolina is $56,227. The South Carolina child support guidelines determine a basic child support obligation which ranges. For instance, if a non-custodial parent of three children earns $4,000 a month, while the custodial parent of the three children earns $2,000 per month. If the non-custodial parent pays $350 a month to cover the kid’s health insurance. The South Carolina guidelines suggest the non-custodial parent should pay about $762.67 in child support every month. However, that payment might vary if the family law court uses Worksheet A from their child support guidelines to calculate the payment. Also, the payment may decrease if both parents agree to a joint custody arrangement.
It’s essential to note that there isn’t a one size fits all formula to calculate child support in South Carolina. Thus, your monthly child support payment might vary based on your financial circumstance or custody arrangement, among other factors. Further, before any child support hearing, it’s in your best interest to hire an experienced child support lawyer who will protect your interests. Hiring the right family law lawyer will help you obtain the best outcome and fair child support payments.
Call Our Experienced Greenville Family Law Attorneys Today for Legal Assistance!
At the Greenville Family Attorneys, our experienced South Carolina child support attorneys are available to ready to discuss your family law issues and advise you on your legal options. Whether you would discuss how much your family is entitled to after a divorce, your child support obligation, or modifications to current child support orders our Greenville, SC family law attorneys are here to answer your questions, so we can provide personalized assistance and come up with a customized legal approach to producing positive results for you and your children. For a free case review, call us today at (864) 475-9393, or chat with us online to learn how we can help.